Skoda Octavia Estate full 9 point review
There are turbocharged 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines, and 1.6 and 2.0 diesels. Even the 1.6 easily hauls around a car this big, but the ratios in the five-speed gearbox are quite widely spaced, so there are times when neither one gear nor another suit. The muscular 2.0 diesel doesn’t have to be worked as hard, plus it gets a six-speed ’box. The petrols accelerate smoothly, but don’t feel as gusty as the diesels.
Ride & Handling
The Octavia Estate’s ride is a little unsettled around town, but it’s not uncomfortable and gets better the faster you go. Its body stays pretty upright and composed through tight turns, and there’s plenty of grip, although rivals feel more agile. SE-spec cars and above have three drive modes: Normal, Sport and Eco. The accurate steering weights up consistently in each setting, and the throttle is noticeably sharper in Sport mode.
The 2.0-litre diesel is the noisiest model in the Octavia Estate range, with noticeable engine noise at most speeds. You’ll also hear and feel the 1.6 diesel a little too much at very low revs, but things settle down with more revs on the dial. Both are still pretty good by class standards, though, and the petrols are impressively hushed. All models have a slick gearchange, well judged pedal weights and little wind or road noise at speed.
Buying & Owning
The Octavia is hard to fault in this area. It costs thousands of pounds less than similarly sized estates, while resale values are excellent and fuel and maintenance costs are among the lowest in the class, so it’s one of the most affordable estates to buy and run.
Quality & Reliability
Cabin finish is another of the Skoda’s strong points. A variety of soft-touch materials and a standard touch-screen infotainment system make it feel just as classy as many of its German peers. Skoda also promises good customer service and reliability, coming fourth in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey.
Safety & Security
The Octavia hasn’t been crash-tested as an estate, but Euro NCAP awarded the hatchback version the full five stars, with particularly good results for adult and pedestrian protection. Having seven airbags as standard also contributed to its excellent score. Security is just as impressive, with insurance body Thatcham awarding the Skoda five out of five for resisting drive-away theft and four out of five for resisting forced entry.
Behind The Wheel
A broad range of wheel and seat adjustment means you’ll get comfortable no matter how tall you are, and the manual lumbar support works effectively. The dashboard is uncluttered, featuring simple rotary heating controls and decent-sized buttons. Rear visibility is also good, helped by long, deep rear side windows. The only oversight is the speedometer, which doesn’t have 30 or 50mph increments highlighted.
Space & Practicality
With the rear seats up, the boot is deep and square, and offers a huge 610 litres of luggage space. Folding the rear seats creates a vast load bay, albeit with a substantial slope and step in the floor. The variable boot floor (optional on S and SE trim, but standard on Elegance) does at least remove the step. Passenger space is just as generous, so even tall adults will be comfortable up front or on the broad rear bench.
Three trims are available – S, SE and Elegance – and even the cheapest of these gives you air-conditioning, alloy wheels, Bluetooth, DAB radio and a USB socket. SE is our favourite and adds dual-zone climate control, rear electric windows, a fatigue sensor and rear parking sensors. Elegance brings sat-nav, cruise control, part-leather and Alcantara upholstery, and automatic lights and wipers.